Hypoglycemia is a very serious condition, in extreme cases causing coma, seizures 癲癇發作 and even death. It happens when blood sugar levels dropping extremely low and is most often experienced by diabetes patients.
Diabetes Type and Hypoglycemia Risk
Type 1 diabetes patients experience hypoglycemia most often, as their diabetes management often requires a lot of attention and careful planning.
Type 2 diabetes patients experience hypoglycemia much less frequently than type 1 diabetes patients. (The rate of hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes patients taking insulin is about one-third that of type 1 diabetics. However, the frequency with which you experience hypoglycemia increases as diabetes becomes more advanced.
Gestational diabetes patients 妊娠期糖尿病患者 rarely experience hypoglycemia, even if they must take insulin during pregnancy. However, about a quarter of newborn babies delivered by mothers suffering gestational diabetes are likely to have neonatal hypoglycemia 新生兒低血糖 and need treatment.
Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
The warning signs of hypoglycemia includes following symptoms but varying from person to person;
- Becoming confused and unable to concentrate
- Experiencing bad headache
- Experiencing quickening heartbeat
- Experiencing extreme hunger pangs 極度飢餓苦痛
- Feeling clammy 濕冷 and cold or sweating
- Feeling dizzy or weak
- Feeling thirst
- Feeling uncharacteristically moody 一反常態/喜怒無常 or cranky 胡思亂想
- Feeling very shaky or trembling
- Having a tingling sensation 刺痛感 around mouth
- Having double vision or blurred vision 模糊視覺
- Having gray or pale skin
- Having trouble keeping your balance or staggering on walking
Diabetic hypoglycemia can also occur sleeping. Signs and symptoms, awakening you, include:
- Damp sheets or bedclothes due to perspiration 一身汗
- Tiredness, irritability or confusion upon waking
Prompt action to be taken
Patients, who suffered from diabetes, suspect experiencing hypoglycemia. They should test their blood sugar levels immediately with a glucose meter. Levels below 70 mg/dL will require immediate treatment.
The best way to treat hypoglycemia is to eat some sugar. The American Diabetes Association and the National Institutes of Health recommend eating between 15 to 20 grams of sugars or carbohydrates. Sources of carbs include:
- Fruit juice, 1/2 cup
- Glucose gel, 1 serving
- Glucose tablets, 3 or 4
- Hard candy, 5 or 6 pieces
- Milk, 1 cup
- Raisins, 2 tablespoons
- Regular sugary soda, 1/2 cup
- Salting crackers, 4 or 5
- Sugar or honey, 1 tablespoon
If having passed out 暈倒 or experiencing seizures 癲癇發作, somebody else should not try to treat you. He/She should call 999 for assistance.
How Can I Prevent Low Blood Glucose?
The best bet is practicing good diabetes management and learning to detect hypoglycemia so that you can treat it at early stage before it getting worse.